What Right Looks Like

by MAJ Ed Lowe, USA

One of the challenges facing many leaders today is knowing exactly what right looks like. This can be especially trying for junior leaders getting their first taste in a leadership position, whether as team leader or platoon leader. Genesis 4:7 says, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door…"

Listen to the Right Advisors

However, the question still remains--how do you recognize right when you see it? Second Chronicles 10:6-15 gives one lesson in that area. Within this Scripture we see the importance of listening to those who have experience and knowledge and can pass that on to others. However, in this situation King Rehoboam "…rejected the advice of the elders."

Because of this rejection his subsequent actions divided the people of Israel. Thus, the lesson learned here for junior leaders is the importance of listening to the right advisors. In relation to the Army, young second lieutenants assuming their roles as platoon leaders should listen to their platoon sergeant and first sergeant. They should not "reject the advice" of those who have served for many years and have much to offer.

See What Right Looks Like

Also important is the ability to see what right looks like. I'm reminded of John 10:32 as Jesus says to the Jews, "…I have shown you many great miracles from the Father…" Jesus Christ showed the entire world what right looks like. Through his daily walk with God, the example He set constantly, He showed exactly how we should act.

In 2 Corinthians 6:3 Paul says, "We put no stumbling block in anyone's path so that our ministry may not be discredited." Like Paul, through our walk with Christ, and our demonstration of our faith to others, people should not be turned away from the ministry of God. They should see what right looks like in us.

Professional Development

As military professionals we are often guided by the lessons we learn from past conflicts and operations. Professional development is an ongoing process for any officer, noncommissioned officer, or civilian.

Proverbs 23:12 states, "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge." Our professional development does not stop at the institutional schools but should occur daily. Thus we are able to apply that acquired knowledge to our current job and also pass that awareness on to others.

Demonstrate What Right Looks Like

Second Thessalonians 3:13 says, "…never tire of doing what is right." Service in the military is a 24-hour job. People are always looking at us to be the model of integrity, professionalism, and honesty. Is this not even more important in today's global environment?

With the ability of the media to reach out to all corners of the globe and to report on the conduct, or misconduct, of soldiers, leaders have an even greater responsibility than ever to demonstrate what right looks like.